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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A meet-up is likened to a pilgrimage

Those who attend a meet-up tend to experience an increased sense of wellbeing, which may last days or weeks later. Many liken this experience to a spiritual retreat or a pilgrimage.

As one of the members who attended the Thames Festival 2008 meet-up tells me in her email,


It's interesting that you noticed spiritual benefits. I’ve been thinking about it alot and I’m making a bit of a connection with the research I’m doing at present on pilgrimage tourism. Researchers have noted that the contact with others is a huge feature of pilgrimage and has been since medieval times. One author coined a term 'communitas' for it, i.e. that sense of being part of a special community and the sharing of friendship with like-minded people. According to the research this is a huge component of the wellbeing experienced by pilgrims on completion of their journey. And I think that certainly happened for me over in London, although I could never have predicted it in a million years. Being accepted by all of you has just helped me accept myself that little bit more as well…

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